Theories of Growth

Chris Bramall

in Sources of Chinese Economic Growth, 1978-1996

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198296973
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596018 | DOI:

Series: Studies on Contemporary China

Theories of Growth

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There is a vast theoretical and empirical literature on the determinants of economic growth. This literature is critically assessed in this chapter. It looks at theories that focus on initial conditions, the scope for catch‐up, physical investment, human capital formation and innovation in turn, and concludes that attempts to separate out the influence of these factors using neo‐classical growth‐accounting frameworks are unconvincing. As Kaldor pointed out many years ago, we cannot distinguish between a shift in the production function and a movement along it; we need to recognize the complexity of the growth process and the inter‐dependence of causal factors. A mono‐casual theory must necessarily be incomplete as an explanation of Chinese economic growth.

Keywords: catch‐up; innovation; investment; Kaldor; literature; neo‐classical; theory

Chapter.  23621 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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